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Liz Truss sees defense assessment to fight threat from Russia and China and warns of ‘decisive moment’
Liz Truss looks to defense assessment to combat rising threat from Russia and China as she warns of ‘decisive moment’ in fight for global freedom
- Liz Truss orders defense assessment to counter growing threat from Russia and China
- PM calls on leaders to stand firm against rise of authoritarianism
- She will warn West of ‘decisive moment’ at the UN General Assembly in New York
- Ms Truss also had a ‘constructive’ meeting with Emmanuel Macron in the US yesterday
Liz Truss will today order a new defense assessment to face the growing threat from Russia and China – while urging Western leaders to stand firm against the rise of authoritarianism.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York, the prime minister will warn that the West is approaching a ‘decisive moment’ in the defense of global freedom.
She will confirm that just 18 months after publication, officials have been asked to reopen the Integrated Review of Britain’s security to take into account the heightened threat from China and Russia.
And she will reaffirm its leadership campaign promise to increase annual defense spending to 3 percent of GDP by 2030 — a move that analysts say could cost more than £150 billion by the end of the decade.
As a member of NATO, the UK has committed to spending 2 percent of GDP on defense every year, and is expected to spend 2.1 percent in the current year.
Yesterday, Miss Truss also called on Russia to pay “compensation” to Ukraine for its illegal war — including financial reparations.
In tonight’s speech, the prime minister will urge world leaders not to waver in their support for Ukrainian troops, who have taken over 2,000 square miles of occupied territory in recent weeks.
Liz Truss will use a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York to warn that the West is entering a ‘decisive moment’ in the defense of global freedom
“This is a defining moment in British history, in the history of this organization and in the history of freedom,” she will say. The story of 2022 could be that of an authoritarian state that rolls its tanks over a peaceful neighbor’s border and subjugates its people.
“Instead, it’s the story of freedom fighting back. But this shouldn’t be a one-off… Britain’s commitment to this is total.
“Together with our friends and allies around the world, we will continue to fight for freedom…and democracy. And we will define this new age as an age of hope and progress.”
Talks with world leaders in New York are expected to focus not only on Ukraine, but also on strengthening energy security to prevent historical weaknesses from being exploited by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other tyrants.
A government source said the prime minister would put pressure on the G7 and other Western alliances to form an “economic NATO, which collectively defends our prosperity and comes to the aid of any partner targeted by an aggressive regime.”
The prime minister has indicated that Moscow may have to pay a ‘fee’ before it can return to the international lap
Miss Truss will promise economic reforms to strengthen the UK’s resilience – and she will urge other leaders to follow suit. “We are reforming our economy to help Britain move forward again,” she will say.
The free world needs this economic strength and resilience to resist authoritarian aggression and win this new era of strategic competition. We will no longer be strategically dependent on those who want to arm the global economy.’
The prime minister, who was due to meet Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife, Olena, in New York last night, has already pledged to at least match Britain’s £2.3bn economic aid to Ukraine next year, saying Britain’s struggle against Russia ‘to the utmost’. .
Yesterday she indicated that Moscow may have to pay a ‘fee’ before being allowed to rejoin the international squad. She told Channel Five News: “It’s not just important that Ukraine wins. It is also important that this never happens again.
And serious damage has been done all over Ukraine. I would expect that the Russian state, which has enormous oil and gas reserves, would have to contribute to the reconstruction.’
A No 10 source said the prime minister also wanted Moscow to extradite Russian individuals wanted for war crimes in Ukraine.
PM and Macron agree to move forward after her ‘friend or foe’ jibe
The prime minister held conciliatory talks with Emmanuel Macron yesterday after questioning whether he was a ‘friend or foe’.
Liz Truss avoided difficult issues such as the migrant crisis in the Channel and the Northern Ireland Protocol as she tried to smooth out relations with the French president.
Downing Street said the two leaders had a half-hour “constructive” meeting in New York, where they both attend the UN General Assembly.
Talks are said to have focused on energy security and the need for a united response to Ukraine.
Prime Minister and Emmanuel Macron agreed to move forward after taking ‘friend or foe’ hostage
Ahead of the meeting, a Whitehall source acknowledged that the prime minister may have to bury the hatchet with the French president after jokingly questioning whether he was a “friend or foe” at the Tory leadership match.
The source said: ‘Obviously he didn’t like that comment, but he’s a politician – he understands things are said in the heat of a campaign.
In the end we have a very strong relationship with France – it will be fine.’ After his speech, Mr Macron seemed happy to put the matter in the past, saying: ‘I now believe in evidence, in results. “There is a will to rejoin, move on and show that we are allies and friends in a complex world.”
Miss Truss’s spokesperson confirmed that they have not discussed the post-Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland or the crossing of migrants, which have not declined. He said the government plans to resolve protocol issues with the EU, adding: “This is not a problem that we think can be resolved through a single EU country.